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23rd international literature festival berlin – festival programme | 06.09 -16.09.2023

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For eleven days in September, Berlin will once again be the capital of literature: around 140 authors from over 40 countries are expected at the 23rd international literature festival berlin (ilb). From 6 to 16 September, 130 events will take place, around 50 of them in the children’s and youth programme. Literature-loving visitors of all ages will meet their favourite authors and exciting new discoveries at readings and panel discussions.

Fig. above: internationales literaturfestival berlin, Komma Bebel Platz, Berlin © Olav Smidt-Jensen

The programme includes numerous book premieres, among others with the 2022 Booker Prize winner Shehan Karunatilaka (Sri Lanka), Navid Kermani (Germany), Maxim Biller (Germany), Ilija Trojanow (Bulgaria/D), Bora Chung (South Korea) and Moshtari Hilal (Afghanistan/D). Also participating are Nino Haratischwili (Georgia/D), Paolo Giordano (Italy), Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Ireland), Amanda Lee Koe (Singapore), Luisa Neubauer (Germany) and Lana Bastašić (Bosnia/D).

This year’s festival will be opened on 6 September by the Italian writer and screenwriter Francesca Melandri with her speech “The Ultrasound of Silence” about memory culture and forgotten history. The opening speech of the International Children’s and Youth Literature section will be given this year by the British author Manjeet Mann, who is appearing in Berlin for the first time.

The ilb brings the world stars of literature live to Berlin. The highlight of the first week of the festival is the book launch of the new novel “Victory City” by Salman Rushdie (India/USA) at the Berliner Ensemble. Rushdie will be broadcast live from the USA for the discussion with Daniel Kehlmann (D). In autumn, Salman Rushdie will receive the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade 2023.

internationales literaturfestival berlin, booktable © Schirin Moaiyeri

The highlight of the programme in the second week of the festival is a talk with Werner Herzog (D/USA) about his life and work. The important representative of international auteur filmmaking will talk with writer Jan Brandt about the importance of writing and literature for his cinematic and literary work. As another highlight, the audience can experience Jeffrey Eugenides (USA) and with Dinçer Güçyeter (D), this year’s winner of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize will read from his award-winning novel “Unser Deutschlandmärchen”. In addition, this festival week will increasingly bring young, diverse voices of international literature to the stage.

The young ilb programme with top-class German premieres

The International Children’s and Youth Literature Section presents an extensive programme with remarkable comics, picture books and children’s books, novels for young people and poetry. Many of the 14 international authors and illustrators in the section are appearing in Berlin for the first time and presenting their 18 books as German premieres. In addition to 25 readings, 22 workshops will be held in cooperation with cultural institutions.


The first week, from 6 to 10 September, the ilb will be held in Berlin-Mitte:
Berliner Ensemble | Bertelsmann Repräsentanz | Collegium Hungaricum Berlin | silent green Kulturquartier | Instituto Cervantes | Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.

In the second week, the ilb is a guest at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and the Documentation Centre Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation as well as at the Instituto Cervantes.

Ticket sales start on 3 August 2023

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